Archive for the ‘Beijing Travel’ Category
Plan your Beijing tour on your first trip to Beijing? The Summer Palace is worth your visit that you cannot afford to miss. The Summer Palace is located about 19km to the northwest of Beijing city center (Tiananmen Square). It is easily accessed by subway line 4 and a few bus lines.
The Summer Palace was listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in December 1998. It was crowned as ”a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design”. The whole palace is designed and spreaded as a huge Chinese garden dominated by the Kunming Lake and the Longevity Hill. The Summer Palace features a rich variety of Chinese gardens, corridors, palaces, pavilions, other classical-style architectural buildings. Now it has become a popular tourist attraction and a recreational park as well.
There are a few walking routes to visit the Summer Palace since it has four entrance gates. For more information on how to visit the Summer Palace, please visit the page of Tips for visiting Summer Palace.
Well, follow me to visit the Summer Palace through the New Palace Gate (south gate), then back to the New Palace Gate, a loop tour of the Summer Palace.
Check the Summer Palace Map while sitting on a bench for a good view of the lake and the longevity hill.
Walk along the East Dyke of Kunming Lake and move on to the core of the Summer Palace.
On the route, visit the Wenchang Gallery that is the largest gallery of its kind in the Chinese classical gardens.
The green lotus leaves hold the Tower of Buddhist Incense.
View the Wenchang Gallery in a distance sandwiched by willows and pines
The former Court Area (the East Palace Gate, the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity…)
A good spot to take a photo of the Summer Palace
Amazed by the mesmerizing Kunming Lake
The total length of the Long Corridor is 728 meters, the longest corridor in the world.
Decorated Paifang in Summer Palace
The Tower of Buddhist Incense atop the Longevity Hill, is the highest building in the Summer Palace.
The Cloud-Dispelling Hall on the slope of the Longevity Hill
The 7 animals on the eaves of the The Cloud-Dispelling Hall
A panoramic view of the Summer Palace on the platform below the Tower of Buddhist Incense.
Longevity Hill is accompanied by a group of buildings
Boats are dotted on the Kunming Lake against the backdrop of the CCTV Tower.
The Summer Palace is an oasis in the cement jungle of Beijing.
The Marble Boat “docked” at the end of the Long Corridor in the Summer Palace.
The ferry boat leaves from the pier at the Marble Boat in Summer Palace
Inside the sightseeing ferry boat
The ferry boats shuttle between the piers at the Marble Boat and the 17-Arch Bridge
A close look at the Cloud-Dispelling Hall and the Tower of Buddhist Incense on the slope of the Longevity Hill
The 17-Arch Bridge
Look at Kunming Lake towards Yuquan Hill with Yu Feng Pagoda
An ancient bronze ox is said to help prevent flooding.
Back to the starting point
The Forbidden City is one of the must see attractions during your Beijing tour. Forbidden City was the imperial palace both for Ming and Qing dynasties. It served as the home of the successive emperors and their households, and the place for their governance as well. Forbidden City is also named “The Palace Musuem” or “The Imperial Palace”.
Constructed for 14 years or so from 1406 to 1420, the palace complex was composed of 999 buildings with an area of 720,000 m2. The palace complex buildings features the traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and have great impact on cultural and architectural developments both in China and the world. The Forbidden City was crowned a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 as the largest cluster of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
For more information on how to visit the Forbidden City, you may check the Forbidden City Travel Tips.
You must enter the Forbidden City from its south entrance (Meridian Gate – Wumen) and out from its northern gate (Gate of Divine – Shenwu Men). You may move on from Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City.
The South Entrance (Meridian Gate or Wumen in Chinese)
On the right side the south entrance, you buy your entrance tikets at the ticketing offices. In the tourist peak season, the queue can be very long and you have to patiently line up to buy your tickets. In the tourist high season (spring, autumn and national holidays) scalpers are rampant around the entrance. Just ignore them!
Entering through the Meridian Gate, you will see a large square that is crossed by five bridges and the Gate of Supreme Harmony in the north area. The Gate of Supreme Harmony is the ceremonial centre of imperial power.
Approaching the Gate of Supreme Harmony, look back at the inside part of the south entrance gate – Meridian Gate)
A close look at the Gate of Supreme Harmony
Going through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, you will see the Hall of Supreme Harmony
The southern ramp in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony has bas-relief carvings
The Sundial is made of marble stone
A huge mythical animal perched on the platform in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony
This huge vase was used against Fire
The eave corners are decorated with 10 kinds of animals
After the Hall of Supreme Harmony, you enter the courtyard where both the Hall of Central Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony are located. The Hall of Central Peace is a smaller and square hall that was used by the Emperors to prepare and rest before and during ceremonies.
Behind the Hall of Central Harmony is the Hall of Preserving Harmony, which was used for rehearsing ceremonies, and it also used be the site of the final stage of the Imperial examination.
Behind the Hall of Preserving Harmony is the ramp – the largest stone carvin, the large bas-relief carvings in Forbiddenn City.
Now you enter the inner court and see the Palace of Heavenly Court
The eave corners are decorated with 5 kinds of animals
The Imperial Garden in the north tip of the Forbidden City.
The north gate – Gate of Divine ( Shenwu Men in Chinese )
The Jingshan Patk to the north of the Fobidden City.
A bird’s-eye view of the Forbidden City from the top of the Jingshan Park.
Any questions, just drop a line.
Plan your Beijing Tour? The Temple of Heaven is one of the Top 10 Attractions in Beijing. The Temple of Heaven in Chinese is called “Tian Tan （天坛）” which literally means “the Altar of Heaven” that composes a group of religious buildings. It is located close to the southern end of Beijing central axis starting Yongdingmen to the the Bell and Drum Towers in the north.
The complex was the former sacred place where the emperors in Ming and Qing dynastied held religious ceremonies annually praying for good harvest. From the south to the north, the Temple of Heaven is mainly composed of the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Most people would visit the Temple of Heaven from its south gate or east gate to its north gate or east gate. The park opens at 6am and closes at 8pm. The main buildings inside the park of Temple of Heaven is open at 8:00am.
It is interesting to visit the Temple of Heaven early in the morning to see local people, most of them are middled aged or older people doing various kinds of light physical activity you can imagine, like singing, dancing, playing instruments, playing chess, practicing kung fu, tai chi…
Check how to visit Temple of Heaven for more information.
Follow me to have a photo tour of the Temple of Heaven.
The Long Corridor 350 meters long and 5 meters wide.
Every early morning many locals come to the Temple of Heaven do ing kinds of light physical activity such as singing, dancing, playing instruments, playing chess, practicing kung fu, tai chi.
Practicing the ancient martial art of sword fighting
Early morning Qigong practices at the park of the Temple of Heaven
View the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests outside the wall of the building
the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
A close look at the plaque inscribed with the three Chinese characters 祈年殿（Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests）
the Imperial Vault of Heaven
The Imperial Vault of Heave is circled by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall
the Circular Mound Altar
The Heavenly Central Stone in the heart of the circular mound.
Standing on the Circular Mound and looking at the north - The Imperial Vault of Heave complex.
Standing on the Circular Mound and looking at the south – the south gate of Temple of Heaven.
Three terraces of white marble circle the Circular Mound Altar
The central axis linking the north and south inside the compound of the Temple of Heaven
Doing special mental exercise of writing on the ground in water with brush
Any questions, just drop a line.